What we have held close to our breast was revealed on Sunday. A little thing like filling out a pledge card and feeling the need to explain why our 2010 pledge was slashed 70% from 2009 told the secret.
Not a huge secret, mind you, but something we only have shared with our closest friends.
We are moving away in the spring.
Over a year ago, I mentioned in this blog that we planned to move. Our target area at that time was St. Louis. But the financial crises came along, and two things happened. First, our personal assets, like everyone else’s, plummeted. Second, our target area was hit by massive foreclosures. We decided that both to move and to move to St. Louis was ill advised at that time.
Moving to St. Louis remains ill advised. After we spoke about why we were unhappy in South Dakota, we realized that to move to St. Louis, a place in which we have lived both separately and together, would set us up for the same problem we had here. That was a problem of expectation. Unconsciously we believed we could waltz right back into the lives we left when we moved away as if nothing had changed. What we discovered when we returned to South Dakota was that the context of our lives had totally changed. We had changed, both in what we wished to do for a living and our ideas about how the world was. What had made us happy and content before no longer did. The temptation to pick up where we left off in St. Louis would be similar.
Taciturn also pointed out that he had spent his entire adult life fleeing the big city; he had been raised in the Baltimore-DC corridor. Although he likes St. Louis, to live there forever does not make sense for him.
Since February we have tried to discern what to do. Asking for guidance in this decision has been a part of my daily prayers. When I was single, I made what turned out to be a very wrong move to another state based on head knowledge alone. It was a disaster; after nine months I had to move again. When I tried to determine what went wrong, I realized I had never prayed about making the move. Not once. That mistake I will not make again. If God is my Parent, I need to seek God’s wisdom in all things, including where to live now that there is a choice.
The trip to Vermont last summer was an audition of sorts. We needed to see if we could fit there, and if the area fit us. Both of us loved it, and felt embraced by those we met. T had one bad day in which we had hiked through humidity, mud and mosquitoes. He woke me in the middle of the night to say that St. Louis was not such a bad idea after all, but recanted within 48 hours. Our target area is about a half hour east of Burlington just off I-89. There is another area closer to Middlebury we wish to check out when we go on the house hunting trip.
This piece I found on a new (to me) blog about living in Vermont encouraged me in our decision. Much of what the author says we found to be true in the short time we were there.
What about the grandchildren? Yes, I'll be even further away than I am now. But it makes no sense with the downturn and the layoffs taking place at Only Son's job to move there for the grandchildren's sake. Worst case scenario--we move to MO and Only Son has to move away for a new job. Therefore, we are moving to a place where we both feel called. My son's family will have a fun place to go on vacation this way.
Our house will go on the market sometime in January. As that time draws closer, we will meet with our realtor to create a game plan. In the meantime, as much as my knee allows, I am cleaning and tossing things out.
As I typed this, someone hammered a For Sale sign into the yard of the house east of us. Lately we noticed the neighbor had done a lot of work; that was why. That should not impact our house selling plans as that house is much older than ours and is quite different in other ways. Guess moving is on someone else’s mind!